The Welsh Government launches a standardised form this week so that vulnerable families can claim council tax reductions simply and accessibly.
This welcome step is the result of a campaign by consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) with the support of Dementia UK. The new SME council tax reduction form will now be distributed by all Welsh councils.
The discount applies to anyone medically certified as having a permanent severe mental impairment such as dementia, and who is entitled to a disability benefit. This can include attendance allowance, personal independence payment or disability living allowance. Eligible people in Wales will now have their claim backdated from the point of diagnosis meaning that people could be due £1000 in rebates.
Dementia UK also provided recommendations towards the application form which people in Wales can use to apply for the discount.
Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services at Dementia UK, said: “People and families with dementia are some of the most vulnerable groups of society. Through calls we get to our Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, we know how often families are left in the dark. They struggle to work their way through a system which doesn’t give them consistent, accurate information around their incredibly complex needs. This is why it’s so important to implement changes like this to make life easier for the increasing number of people diagnosed with the condition.”
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “Many of the most vulnerable within our society, those who are living with a ‘severe mental impairment’, have been eligible for a council tax discount for years, but sadly, across Britain they have rarely been about told it – meaning they’ve missed out on money that could’ve transformed their quality of life.”
In England, Scotland and Wales someone who has been medically certified as having a permanent severe mental impairment such as dementia, and who is entitled to a disability benefit, could be entitled to a Council Tax reduction or exemption.